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Central Sri Lanka : Kandy
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Kandy is located at the center of Sri Lanka and is generally recognized as the island nation's cultural capital. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


This is the last kingdom of the country. Since it was conquered by the British only around 1815 you can still see the living traditions. Kandyans are usually proud of their heritage. Since the western elements has played a comparatively little role in the city most Kandyans are upholding Buddhist values. Since it is in the cultural triangle the authorities try to retain this values as much as possible. Situation had changed recently because of many immigrants coming from other parts of the country. So don't expect to find the honest Kandyans they describe in the colonial literature now. Be careful with your belongings and the people whom you associate with. But this is a peaceful city compared to most other parts of the country with a lesser crime rate.

Get in

  • Air Conditioned Tourist Car From Colombo/Airport or Kandy. Excellent Service. Competent Drivers. Fair Rates. [21]
  • Train (from Colombo) - Intercity express train are hassle free and scenic. Reservation are needed for these trains, it can be done just before the departure depending on the period but is best done in advance especially if you are traveling on a weekend or holiday. There is a great observation saloon (first class) in this particular train. Other trains are overly crowded and late. The trip from Colombo to Kandy costs 220 LKR in second class.
  • Taxi. If you're just arriving in Sri Lanka, heading for Kandy, you can hire a taxi from one of the stalls in the arrivals hall at Colombo airport for about R6000/-. The journey takes about 3 hours. This saves the hassle of going into Colombo, and is a lot quicker.
  • Bus from the airport. Take the free shuttle bus to the bus terminal, where the friendly locals will direct you to the bus to Kandy (3.5h, 136 LKR as of January 2013).
  • Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges. The road to Kandy is astonishingly chaotic and frightening even for seasoned travelers. Be prepared for a long slow slog in traffic, or, if your driver decides to make the journey at a more practical speed, a hair-raising adventure replete with passing around blind corners and games of chicken with the ubiquitous intercity buses. A day trip from Mt.Lavinia to Kandy, including seeing the sights in Kandy, costs around LKR 10,000 [May 2011].
  • Intercity air-conditioned bus (from Colombo) is the next best option to the train. If you are female and traveling alone it is best to either sit next to another female or try to sit as close to the conductor as possible (i.e. up front) to avoid any unnecessary surprises.
  • Air Taxi [22] (from Colombo) is the latest option to travel to Kandy. The De Havilland Twin Otter float planes operated by Sri Lankan Airlines leave Colombo at 9AM (currently from Kelani River) and touch down at Mahaweli River in Polgolla, Kandy at 9.30AM The travel time between Colombo and Kandy is just 30 minutes. It costs Rs. 4,900 for a one-way fare and Rs. 9,800 for a return fare.

Get around

  • The local "Three-Wheelers" ('Tuk-Tuk) are an amazingly cheap and exciting way of seeing the city, and they run virtually all night long.
  • Walking is also recommended - the centre is not that large - as a way of seeing temples, shops, shopping area and other sights around the lake.

Kandy Express ( Metered Taxi Company In Kandy)


The Temple of the Tooth Relic
  • The Temple of the Tooth, +94812234226 (, fax: +948112236201), [1]. The temple is open from dawn to dusk. It houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and is consequently considered one of Sri Lanka's most holy shrines. Although you may not view the actual tooth itself, the casket within which it is said to be is displayed twice a day. The best time to view this ornate casket is around 6.30PM. Foreigner entrance: 1000 LKR.
  • The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage has about seventy semi-tame elephants roaming freely around this wonderful sanctuary. Feeding and bathing times are especially enjoyable. You can either hire a taxi to take you there or, if travelling on a budget, get a bus to Kegalle (about an hour away) for about R40/-, asking the driver to drop you off at the turn for Pinnewala which is 3 miles or so before you reach the town, and catch another local bus for the last 6 km or so. Alternatively, take a train to Rambukkana and walk from there. It's about 2km. Follow the road through the village back in the direction the train has just come from and then turn right at the large sign for the Elephant Orphanage. Rambukkana is on the main line to Colombo and the journey is quite scenic, passing through jungle drenched mountains. Definitely worth the trip especially if you have children.
  • The Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya [23] is the best botanical garden in Sri Lanka and one of the best in the region. It dates back to the ancient kings of the country although the British changed the look of it. The British are said to have used the gardens to grow trees that could not be grown at Kew gardens. The large banyan tree, the orchid house, the suspension bridge, and the bats are some of the main attractions. Foreigner entrance: 1100 LKR. Drive there through the University of Peradeniya [24] the most scenic and the largest university in the country.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

  • New Ranweli Spice Garden [25] located in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden is a place to see and learn about sri lankan spices and herbs.After seeing around the garden,spices can also be purchased as a souvenir,but there is no obligation to buy.(Entrance free/free pick up service from any destination within kandy and peradeniya for foreigners)/T.P 94-77-1351931

  • Bahirawakanda temple. The ominipresent Buddha statue seen from everywhere in Kandy city. Take a tuk tuk ride to the Temple or walk, just 1 km away from the Kandy city. The way to the temple may not be easy to locate, you might have to take a three wheeler or ask a local, when in doubt just walk up and follow the colourful Buddhist flags over the road. Entrance fee 200 LKR. This Buddha statue is best viewed from far away. Once you get onto the premises it is no longer easy to see. Plus it is not a very peaceful place as temples go.

  • The Tea Museum, Hantane, Kandy. The ancient Tea Factory of Hantana Estate is converted into a Museum dedicated to the history of Sri Lankan Tea. Run by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
  • Udawattakele Royal Forest Sanctuary, the forest located "in the Kandy city", was planned and maintained as the part of the Royal palace complex of the Sinhala Kings. A patch of tropical rain forest still survives and if you don't come across it it is still a wonderful walk. You are guaranteed to come across plenty of monkeys and some tranquil ponds. Wear long trousers after rain, and take some salt as there are lots of leeches about.
  • Temples situated around Kandy are some other popular tourist attractions. The most famous temples are: Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka Viharaya, Embekke Devalaya, Dodanwala Devalaya, Degaldoruwa, Hindagala Viharaya, Madawala Viharaya and Galmaduwa Viharaya.
  • Visit Athur's seat for a panoramic view of the Kandy city.
  • Commonwealth War Cemetery is located at Deveni (2nd) Rajasinghe mawatha down by the Mahaweli riverside. Formerly known as Pitakande Military Cemetery, it is one of the most beautifully landscaped and maintained war cemeteries in the world. There is one Commonwealth burial of the World War I and a further 196 Commonwealth burials of the World War II commemorated in the cemetery. In addition there are four Foreign National and two non world war burials. The range of nationalities laid to rest comes from the records of the War cemetery, and include 107 Britons, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians, six Canadians, three Italians and one Frenchman.
  • Kandyan Art Association., No. 72, Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy (almost at the rear end of the Maligawa – Temple of the Tooth Relic and can be reached by walking along the lake road from the “Ulpenge” situated at the Southern entrance.Only five minutes walk from the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී දළදා මාළිගාව)), 094 81 2223100, [2]. from 9. 00 a. m. to 5. 30 p. m.. A center for traditional arts and crafts with a government-sponsored sales room and fixed prices. The building in which the Kandyan Art Association is currently housed is over 175 years old. Despite its varied uses over the years, the building has retained its unique character over the last two centuries and today serves not only as the Association’s art gallery and sales outlet, but also a site for the demonstration of a range of production activities, including hand loom weaving, dumbara mat weaving, and wood carving. Entrance free.


The Kandy district has large number of known treks. Within the Kandy city the short walk of Asgiri Maha Viharaya via Bahirawakande hill is an interesting. Udawattakelle forest reserve in within the city limit, gives valuable walking in nature. The secret Walkers Forest upper Hantane trek is on special permission from the Municipal Council of Kandy. The famous Western Shrines of Kandy Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake temples and Embakke shrine are connected by a very scenic footpath. Other part of the west of Kandy, a part of Portuguese War Route, via Ihalakotte railway station to Dodanwala Devale shrine is passing forest reserves, Alagalle Mountain, tea estates and kandyan traditional villages. East of Kandy city the temples Gangaramaya, Galmaduwa, Degaldoruwa temple are well known for paintings, sculptures and architectural techniques.Knuckles mountain range and its forest trails are the most suitable for trekking in Sri Lanka. It has many nature trails cleared trough the forest by forest department with campsites. For example Mini world’s end trails in the west and east, Pitawala pathena trail, Ash cave trail, Nitre cave trail, Knuckles summit trail are very exciting. Also there are interconnected footpaths of cardamom planters, toddy tappers, tea plantation workers, farmers and villages. Traditional villages of the Knuckles foothills with so mach of treks and short walks such as Last King of Kandy, Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe’s (1798-1815) hideout place, Rathna water fall trek, Sitakotuwa limestone cave and waterfall trek, etc.South of Kandy the longest rice field scenery of the island, Lamasuriyagama the rice field was belonging to royal court of Kandy a very spectacular trek. It is undisturbed from electricity wires for photographs and with terrace rice fields by a Loggaloya river with watch huts of farmers. Loggaloya riverine forest trail to Victoria – Randenigala – Rantambe sanctuary is also a very interesting trekking.

  • Perahera is the most famous festival in Kandy usually in August. It's a pageant where many elephants participate. You can buy expensive seats or can see it with the crowd. Buy a seat from the Queens hotel. This will be around $40. Buy the tickets from the officials or otherwise through middlemen you will be paying exorbitant prizes.
  • Kandyan dancing you can see this traditional form of dancing in the "Kandyan Cultural Center" near the Kandy lake.
  • Buddhist Publication Society this is located near the lake. You can participate in discussions about Buddhism, meditation or you can buy some introductory materials about Buddhism.
  • Nilambe meditation center, [26]. Have to take a "Galaha" bus passing Peradeniya (Get down from Nilambe "office junction". Is a Buddhist retreat which offers experiences of a monastic lifestyle. You can engage in daily activities which involves yoga classes, meditation and discussions.
  • If there's a cricket match on, spend a day at the Asgiriya Stadium, possibly the world's prettiest test match venue, and certainly the only one that for most of the year is simply a school sports ground (Trinity College).


  • Laksala is the state owned handicraft shop. You will be able to buy a lot of genuine handicrafts made by traditional artisans (don't be deceived by the fake products available with most tourist shops). Laksala is by the lake.
  • Kandy City Centre opened up in January 29, 2009. It is an ultra modern shopping complex with space for over 400 shops. By the time of its opening it is the country's most modern and biggest shopping complex.
  • Waruna Antiques, 761 Peradeniya Road (10 minutes from Kandy, Old Peradeniya Road), 0094777710013. 9AM. Kandyan masks, jewellery, coins, plates, textiles, etc.
  • Upali Jayakody Batiks, No.192/2, Dharmashoka Mawatha, Lewella, 094777833938, [3]. Exclusive Batiks By Upali Jaykody. You will be able to buy many more high quality uncommon artistic modern batik.


  • Bakehouse, for snacks or traditional Sri Lankan meals. Scenic view of the City, from its first floor balcony, where they serve a Sri Lankan buffet, but this tends to sell out by about 7:30PM
  • Devon Restaurant is famous for quality snacks. Captain's table is at Upstairs of Devons. Good Sri Lankan and South Indian food.
  • Avanhala, is just in front of the Kandy lake. Good food and best scenery.
  • SRIRAM Indian Restaurant located in the Colombo Street offers nice south Indian food.
  • The Flower Song Chinese Restaurant on Kotugodelle Vidaya is just north of the town centre. It sells excellent Chinese food - with huge portions of rice or noodles. It's clean, air-conditioned, and serves beers and wines.
  • Dinemore , just opposite to the Anniewatta tunnel. On the top of Nihal's Super. Quality Mid-Eastern and South-Indian food for affordable prices.
  • Lyons restaurant located in front of the Hindu Kovil. Serves quality food, both Western and Eastern.


  • There are two popular bars on the main street (Dalada Vidaya), The Pub and The Pub Royale. The former serves quite good (but pricey, perhaps R700/-) meals, has a large screen for sports inside and a 1st floor outside verandah.
  • There are a number of cheap bars (R100/- or less for a 650ml bottle of beer) scattered throughout the sidestreets near the town centre. They can be rather seedy and the kind of place where unaccompanied women could be made to feel very uncomfortable.
  • Victory Hotel, 79 Colombo Road This bar is a great way to see real Sri Lankans and what they do, downstairs is full of locals knocking back Arrack the atmosphere may be less than salubrious, in fact it gives the Sidney Hotel, Galle a run for its money, but the people are friendly. Upstairs is slighty less dingy as it serves food, Arrack starts at 700 lkr, beer 195 lkr and a cigarette from a waiter 30lkr



There are lots of cheapish guest houses to the south and east of the lake, all a only a short walk from the town centre, and generally clean and friendly.

  • Kandy Downtown Hostel, 93 Aniwatta Road, Kandy, +94 077-106988, [4]. Walking distance (1.3km) to the bus/train station. Rooms start at 1200 LKR.
  • Rosendale Villa, 85/A Upul Mawatha,Primrose Gardens, Kandy, 0094771015665 (). Located in a secluded area of Kandy, Rosendale Villa offers a unique experience where you can relax, in true up country style! The climate which is cool mornings and evenings, with fairly warm day times offer a splendid environment to enjoy the calm ambiance at the Villa and explore the surrounding sites and other places of interest. Ideally located on the Primrose Hill with a panoramic view of the famous Mahaveli River with close proximity to the Historic Kandy City.Facilities offered are Clean Rooms with Breakfast or Lunch & Dinner,WiFi,Laundry,Tuk Tuk rides,Telephone,Hot Water etc.. Room from 4500 RS.
  • Olde Empire, Temple st. Situated next to the temple of the tooth, cheapest rate start from LKR 880.
  • YMCA, 116A, Kotugodella Veediya. The cheapest option in town. rates start from LKR 600 per person. common bathroom, cold water.
  • Kandy City Mission, 125, DS Sennanayake Veediya, +94 77 2 203040 (Contact Tobi); Email; [email protected]. The cheapest, safest & best en suite accommodation in the centre of Kandy. all rooms have bathroom inside. rates start from LKR 550 per person.
  • Kandy Cottage, 160 Lady Gordon Drive, tel. +9477 2 203040 (Tobi) (), [5]. Eco-friendly retreat for writers and artists, but it also welcomes regular holiday makers with facilities from laundry to laser printing. Although it nestles in a little hollow adjoining a tiny virgin forest 'Udawatta Kele Royal Forest Sanctuary' - it is only ten minutes' walk from the city centre. It has two double rooms and one family suite, all of them enabled with broadband internet. Rates from US$22 to US$ 40 per person, accompanying children free if under 12. Half rate after the second week..
  • Peace Haven Guest House, 47/10 Louis Pieris lane and other entrance 44 firstlane Dharmaraja mawatta (near the north-east corner of Kandy Lake), +94812232584, [6]. Located a pleasant 20 minutes stroll by the lakeside from the centre of town. The owners, Mr & Mrs Atapattu, are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Breakfasts include heaps of fresh fruit, all the toast you can eat, and good rich tea. Rs1250/ to Rs1500room only.

Mid-range and Splurge

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  • Amaya Hills Kandy, Heerassagala, +94 81 4474022/8, +94 77 77772237, [7]. 100 Room hotel. Nestled among the splendour of the rolling Hantana Hills discover a new rhythm to life. Amid verdant hillsides high above the famed city of Kandy, Amaya Hills welcomes you to graceful private havens with designs recalling the region’s ancient and natural wonders. All rooms and suites boast private balconies overlooking the sweeping valley or lush mountainside, with interiors defined by unforgettable details and natural, modern grandeur. Discover the local lure of Sinhalese heritage throughout the kingdom of Kandy, exploring traditional markets, ancient temples, and the region’s renowned natural beauty. After venturing out, return to the resort to luxuriate in the soothing touch of Ayruvedic spa treatments, or sample culinary flavours, masterfully concocted. Spend indulgent evenings in the majestic pool underneath a canopy of stars, or sipping cocktails at our private club deep in the hillside. Experience Amaya Hills - the sweep of natural splendour and the timeless tradition of the Kandyan culture.
  • Chaaya Citadel Kandy, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha, +94 81 2234365, [8]. Offers a stay that takes you back in time. The four star hotel is away from the hustle and bustle of the city but near enough to access the cultural marvels that Kandy has to offer.
  • Earl's Regency, 84 Tenna Kumbura (4km from Kandy), +94 81 5873305 - 7, [9]. This 100 room five star luxury hotel has restaurants with a variety of international cuisine, 24 hour room service, a coffee shop, Ayurvedic health centre, shopping arcade, a sauna and wedding, conference and banquets facilities. Evening entertainment includes disco, karaoke, live bands, oriental bands, bingo and cultural shows.
  • Forest Villa, 185 B, Rajapihilla Mawatha, +94 081 2234107, [10]. checkin: 12:00PM; checkout: 12:00 PM. Forest Villa provides the comfortable amenities of an urban lifestyle. It offers rooms equipped with bathroom amenities, Welcome pack (water, tea, coffee or juice) and Coffee/tea maker. Some of its facilities and services are Restaurant, dining areas, business center, housekeeping and 24-hours back-up power supply. Reservation [email protected] USD 35.
  • Gami Seva Sevana, Office Junction, Galaha (25 Km towards Galaha on Galaha Rd), 0814920790. Located just at the foot of the hill of the Nilambe meditation center. One bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms one living room and a kitchen at 2 floors. Several simpler rooms. Gami Seva Sevana is a cooperative which is into organic agriculture and education. Recently it started to rent out its facilities and also offers a scheme to explore local places and sights that otherwise wouldn't likely show up on a tourist radar. From 2000 Rps.
  • Golden View Rest, Saranankara Rd, 0094 81 2239418 (). View on the lake and a part of the city. Hot water and very clean rooms. A/C and non A/C rooms. The breakfast is not included in the price if not asked. CAUTION: Beware of the owner's "free" tuk-tuk scam-- your driver will demand an extortionate sum of money once you arrive at your destination. Room from 1,500 LKR.
  • Hill Top Hotel, 200/21, Bahirawakande Peradeniya Rd (about 2 km to the city center), +94 81 2224162, [11]. Two star hotel. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of local and international dishes.
  • Hunas Falls by Amaya, Elkaduwa (about 26 km away from Kandy), +94 81 4940320, [12]. The hotel is in a breathtaking setting overlooking the Hunas Falls. The hotel has nine superior rooms, 19 deluxe rooms and suites. Room facilities include a mini bar, satellite TV and IDD telephone. All rooms are centrally air conditioned. The hotel offers conferencing and banqueting facilities.
  • The Kandy Samadhicentre, Kukuloya Rd Narampanawa (passing Digana), +94 777710013, [13]. Nature resort. Double with hot water B&B US$80.
  • Mahaweli Reach Hotel, 35, P.B.A. Weerakoon Mawatha (a few minutes away from the city), +94 81 4472727, [14]. Five star hotel.
  • McLeod Inn, 65A Rajapihilla Mawatha, +94 81 222 2832 (). The couple who run the place are all smiles and very helpful. Rooms are sparkling clean, comfy beds, en suite with hot and cold water. Some beautiful views across Kandy from their balcony and from a couple of rooms, room 6 especially has floor to ceiling windows. No A/C, but you do not need it. 1,300-1,700 LKR.
  • Queen's Hotel, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha (in the middle of the city beside the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Kandy Lake), +94 81 81 2233026 / 81 5627620-4, [15]. One of the oldest hotels in Kandy. Offers ideal geataway spots to watch the Maligawa Perahera (the procession).
  • Randholee Resort, +94 81 2217741, [16]. The panoramic view from this resort is one of the better ones in the area, decked in Kandyan décor, all rooms do not have its own private balcony and bathrooms. Best rates on official website start at US$68.
  • Riverdale Hotel, 32, Aniwatte Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
  • Suisse Hotel, 30, Sangarajah Mawatha (right beside the historic Kandy Lake), +94 81 81 2233024-5, [17]. Colonial hotel.
  • Swiss Residence Kandy Hotel, 23 Bahirawakanda Lane (1 km to the city center). 40 rooms.
  • Hotel Topaz. 77 tastefully furnished A/C rooms with piped music and hot and cold running water. 40 of them include a TV, a mini bar and bath tubs.
  • The Tourmaline Hotel, Aniwatte, Kandy (Few miles up Aniwatte road), +94-817-389000-6, [18]. Four star 29 deluxe room hotel with luxurious comfort to make your stay a royal experience (7.291303,80.627272)
  • Tourmaline Hotel, 55, 2nd Lane, Pushpadana Mawatha, +94 81 4473551-5. The hotel has 29 furnished rooms with modern amenities.

Holiday Bungalows

  • Holiday Bungalow, Haragama, Kandy (11km's on Rajamawatha), +94-777-426321, [19]. 06 deluxe rooms,Ideal for family holidays who like to stay in a relaxed and peaceful area



List of Major Hospitals and health care centers:

  • General Hospital Kandy, +94 81 2222261.
  • Teaching Hospital - Peradeniya, +94 81 2388001.
  • Suwasewana Hospital, 532, Peradeniya Road Kandy, +94 81 2222404 (fax: +94 81 4476763).


  • In-flag.png India, High Commission of India, No. 31, Rajapihilla Mawatha, PO Box 47, Kandy, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, (94) 81 2222652 / 2223786 (fax: (94) (81) 2232479), [20].

Get out

  • Dambulla is 60 km north of Kandy and A/C buses to Dambulla costs 150 LKR. With a driver it is possible to do a day trip to Sigiriya (2.5 hour from Kandy)- Dambulla - Matale.Create category
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